Hyperemesis Gravidarum - Morning Sickness Taken To A Whole New Level
Hyperemesis gravidarum – not too many people are aware of this condition. Most people have never even heard of it. I didn’t even know it existed until I experienced it myself.
I’m now 42 and find it quite hard to believe that in all my years, I have never seen Hyperemesis gravidarum addressed in any movie or television show in regards to a pregnancy. Unfortunately, you see or hear of miscarriages, placenta previa, toxemia, even regular morning sickness and other pregnancy related conditions, but never Hyperemesis gravidarum. Why is that? Well as 1 of the 200 women (statistically speaking) that experienced this phenomenon, I thought it was time to bring it to the forefront.
My husband and I always joked around that I am the only woman on this earth that he could have possibly married because I’m just as evil as him, and my womb is the only one on this planet that could carry his evil progeny to term. My “deviled eggs” mixed with his “demon seed” would eventually bring about our “evil spawn”. At least I thought he was joking until I actually got pregnant and experienced what I did. Till this day I blame it all on him and his “demon seed”. Hmmmmm…..
What is Hyperemesis gravidarum?
The majority of pregnant women experience some type of morning sickness. In about 1% of all pregnancies, the woman will experience extreme morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest and antacids. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line (IV).
Hyperemesis gravidarum cannot be prevented, but there are ways to manage it.
The difference between morning sickness and hyperemeses gravidarum
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting
Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after
Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration
Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down
Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down
Signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum:
Severe nausea and vomiting
Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
Decrease in urination
In some cases hyperemesis gravidarum can be so severe that hospitalization may be necessary. Hospital treatment may include some or all of the following:
Intravenous fluids (IV) – to restore hydration, electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients
Nasogastric – restores nutrients through a tube passing through the nose and to the stomach
Medications – metoclopramide, antihistamines, and antireflux medications
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy – restores nutrients through a tube passing through the abdomen and to the stomach; requires a surgical procedure
My Experience In A Nutshell...
Because of superstition, most women don’t reveal their pregnancy until they have passed the 3rd month. Unfortunately, I couldn’t roll like that. With as much vomiting as I was doing (and going to do), I pretty much had to let my employer (and everyone else) know from the get go. They literally got to experience the whole 9 months (as opposed to the 6 or 5) of my pregnancy, from beginning to end and all the sickness that came with it. By the time I was ready to give birth, everyone (and I mean everyone) was wondering if I was ever going to have this baby and exactly how long I had been pregnant for! It just seemed the longest pregnancy in history.
What Is That Smell????
The company I had worked for had a very large cafeteria that served fresh coffee daily and had microwaves for the employees to use. My “cubicle” was right outside the cafeteria. During my pregnancy, this was absolute torture! The smell of fresh brewed coffee would send me right to the infirmary as soon as I walked in the building. Then there would be those mornings when someone would decide they just had to have some popcorn. Normally, this would not bother me but as soon as I would smell that first popped kernel, I would get up from my desk, walk into the cafeteria and just stand there looking at the person making that damn popcorn. (I had been at the company about 10 years and knew pretty much everyone - as well as them knowing me). The person would look at me, noticing the greenish tinge that was slowly creeping up my face, and profusely apologized. Hey, what could ya do? People gotta eat. “It’s okay” I say as I make my way back to my desk trying not to puke my guts out.
But come lunch time, I couldn’t even stay in the building. With people heating up leftovers – the smells were just to damn much for me to take. God forbid someone actually heated up some fish before I was able to get outta there!
I have to say though, that the people at my former company (from top executive to mail clerk) were very supportive, sympathetic and considerate. They were (and still are) a good group of people.
Food – Are You Kidding Me?
Exactly what the heading says – are you kidding me? I could barely keep anything down. No – the crackers didn’t work, nor did the ginger ale, or the almonds or anything recommended in those damn pregnancy books. What did occasionally settle my stomach? Root beer and/or Dr. Pepper were the only things that helped whatsoever. I always had one or the other in my hand at any given time.
On one occasion, I had gone into a meeting (at least 7 months pregnant) holding a root beer in my hand (the dark brown bottle without the label). When I sat down at the conference table, everyone in attendance looked at me and asked me if that was “a beer”. I looked at them and said, “Really – are you kidding me? Do you honestly think that I would walk into a meeting with a beer, while pregnant? It’s root beer – what is wrong with you people?” They all chuckled (cause they didn’t want to feel stupid) and we moved on with the meeting. What is wrong with some people????
What was I able to eat? Well, with each child it was different. When I was pregnant with my son, all I wanted was a salad. A regular garden salad with lettuce, cucumbers, etc.. We were at Sizzlers at least twice a week for their salad bar. It was either that or I would be at Boston Market for the 3 side deal (creamed spinach, corn and mashed potatoes).
When I was pregnant with my daughter, we were still going to Sizzler twice a week, but this time it was for beef and beef alone. No salad this pregnancy, just meat, meat and more meat!!!! It was all I wanted and could stomach.
The funny thing I’ve noticed now - my son hates vegetables and loves beef while my daughter loves vegetables and hates beef. Go figure…
Did I have cravings? Twice – one time only with each pregnancy.
Pregnancy #1 – Oreos – need I say more. For one night and one night only, I wanted Oreos in the worst possible way. It was around 7pm when it hit me. Told my husband that I wanted him to go out and get me some Oreos. He was tired and said no, that he’d get them tomorrow. WHAT??? He didn’t understand, I NEEDED those Oreos (this was his first experience with pregnancy as well, and he didn’t understand the consequences at this time, so I won’t hold it against him). He was very adamant, he was not going out. I was very stubborn, yes he was. Well, suffice it to say, he did not go out to get me the Oreos. I in turn made the rest of his night a total living hell. So much so that the next day, he walked in with a huge bag of Oreos, apologized and said he would get me anything I wanted so that he never had to go through what he went through last night. I thanked him, ate about 5 Oreos and didn’t touch them again the rest of my pregnancy.
Did he remember this experience and learn from his mistakes? Damn right he did…
Pregnancy #2 – Blooming Onion! Yep, a Blooming Onion – like the one that the Outback serves, deep fried goodness - yum. About 9pm at night is when it hits me. I must have a Blooming Onion. I look at my husband, he knows what’s coming. “What do you want?” he asks. I tell him. He gets this look on his face but knows not to deny me. He says, “Where do you want to go? The Outback is too far.” I suggest a closer place that serves something similar and we head out the door. Craving satisfied that night without further incident AND he won $44 while we were out (played a lottery game).
I Feel So Fat!
The one thing I did not feel while I was pregnant was fat. I barely gained any weight. I gained about 16lbs. with each of my pregnancies. From the back, I didn’t even look pregnant. I didn’t really have to start wearing maternity clothes until my 7th month. People would see me one day in regular clothes and then the next in maternity clothes. They would ask when I was due. When I told them that I was due in about 6 weeks, they would bug out! I had been pregnant this whole time and they didn’t even know it. The only plus is that after the birth(s) the baby weight came off super fast.
I'm Gonna Hurl...
Nausea – the bane of my pregnancy. Way beyond just your usual morning sickness. From that first moment I sensed its invasive presence (2 weeks before my pregnancies were confirmed) right up to the freakin delivery room as I’m giving birth. Nausea tortured me throughout both pregnancies. So much so that I was dehydrated, hospitalized, placed on home I.V. treatments and was on medication (suppositories – YUCK). And believe it or not, the second pregnancy was way worse than the first.
I remember, a day after giving birth, realizing that I was no longer feeling any kind of nausea. I was so damn excited that I asked anyone and everyone to bring me a cup of coffee or something to eat. Finally - I could eat anything I wanted again. Woo Hoo!!!!!
Now, I know that there might be some different opinions out there on what I’m about to say – but hey, after what I went through….
When I was asked if I wanted to breast feed or bottle feed, there really was only one choice for me – bottle feed.
I’m sorry but after not really being able to eat for 9 months (and when I did, not being able to keep it down), I was not about to worry about what I could or couldn’t eat while breast feeding. I was going to eat anything and everything I wanted. So formula it was. Had I not suffered from Hyperemesis gravidarum, I might have chosen to breast feed.
Third Time Is A Charm?
Hell No!!!! Sorry, I have my boy and my girl; two beautiful, healthy children. No more for me. Even my doctor suggested that I not get pregnant again and I completely agreed! Maybe if my pregnancies had not been so rough, I would have gone for it one more time but just thinking about being pregnant was enough birth control for me. Every once in a while my daughter will ask me if she can have a baby sister. I swallow the bile that automatically rises in my throat (pregnancy memories) and tell her that unfortunately it’s not going to happen because mommy can’t have anymore babies now – I tell her I’m too old. She temporarily accepts that and moves on. Whew! Dodged that bullet. At least until the next time she asks.
How Many Of Us Are Out There???
Have you suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during your pregnancy?See results without voting
At Least There's Something About It On Video!!!
I'm Not Alone...
See, I'm not alone. It does exist.